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Millennium Post

Squawking Avians

Research has revealed –birds like pigeons and parrots fly in flocks and live as a team, to protect each other from predators. And, they are smart enough to understand dimensions of space and time

Why do pigeons roost on roofs or gutters?
Pigeons like comfortable sunny places that are safe from predators and has abundant food and water. The nests are built of twigs but quickly become so covered in droppings that they look like a big pile of waste. When the babies are born, they are a dull brown and are perfectly camouflaged in the nest. Gutters are dish-shaped and provide great nesting sites that securely hold the nests. Pigeons nest and roost on and in houses because it gives them a good view of nearby feeding areas or because they have gained access to the interior of the building. They usually access buildings through broken windows, missing or loose vents or any other small gap or opening. Pigeons also like high places because they are able to keep a close watch on their surroundings and spot predators. Pigeons are social birds and each flock works as a team. Someone always has an eye out for danger.
Where do pigeons normally live?
Pigeons live in every part of the world but the North and South Poles. They started out as pets, but through accidental or intentional release have developed into perhaps the most common feral bird. Originally, they liked places with lots of grain, like farms, especially when they are near areas with good nesting sites in high and inaccessible places, like cliffs or buildings. Once known as 'rock doves', pigeons live anywhere there is adequate food and shelter and are common in most urban and suburban areas. Stadiums and fast-food restaurants, parks and bridges, airports and schools – all are common pigeon environments.
What is the difference between parrots and parakeets?
Parakeets are also a group of parrots. However parrots are much larger than parakeets. Parakeets are less than a foot while parrots can go to one metre long and some can weigh around four kg.
Is a flaky beak normal in parrots?
A parrot's beak serves not only in eating, but also as a 'hand' in climbing. Like our nails, birds beaks are made of keratin and keep growing throughout their life time. There is always new beak tissue growth under the existing beak and, after some time, the outer beak is being sloughed off. You may see a parrot hurry the process of outer beak peeling by rubbing its beak against hard surfaces. Sometimes a poor diet will cause problems to birds' beaks.
This can be remedied by offering a variety of fresh foods and high quality multi-vitamins/minerals supplements. A good tip is to provide a piece of cuttlebone to your pet parrot for its beak grinding. This will increase its intake of calcium and help to prevent the beak from overgrowing.
I found a baby bird and I want to keep it as a pet – what do I feed it?
99 per cent baby birds die when they are taken as pets. It is cruel and illegal to keep them. It is critical to understand that baby birds have very different nutritional needs than adult birds, and foods you would normally feed to your backyard birds are not appropriate for young fledglings.
Acceptable foods for baby birds:
· Moist dog food
· Hard boiled eggs
· Dog biscuits (moistened)
· Dog or cat kibble (moistened)
What NOT to feed baby birds:
· Water
· Bread or bread products
· Whole birdseed
· Milk
· Pet bird food
· Worms
· Kitchen scraps
(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)
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